Global General

Russian space officials fired over failed launch

Updated: 2010-12-29 19:52
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MOSCOW – Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has fired two space officials over a failed rocket launch that resulted in the loss of three satellites.

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The Kremlin said Wednesday that the deputy head of the Russian space agency, Viktor Remishevsky, and the deputy chief of the state-controlled RKK Energiya rocket manufacturer, Vyacheslav Filin, have lost their jobs over the Dec. 5 launch when the Proton-M booster rocket failed to put three GLONASS-M satellites into a designated orbit. The space agency chief, Anatoly Perminov, received a reprimand.

An investigation has revealed that the failure was caused by a calculations error that resulted in excessive fuel being pumped into the carrier's upper stage.

Russia has struggled to place a sufficient number of GLONASS sattellites in orbit to compete with the US GPS navigation system.